When this classic collection of stories first appeared—in 1962, on the author’s thirtieth birthday—Arthur Mizener wrote in The New York Times Book Review: “Updike is a romantic [and] like all American romantics, that is, he has an irresistible impulse to go in memory home again in order to find himself. . . . The precise recollection of his own family-love, parental and marital, is vital to him; it is the matter in which the saving truth is incarnate. . . . Pigeon Feathers is not just a book of very brilliant short stories; it is a demonstration of how the most gifted writer of his generation is coming to maturity; it shows us that Mr. Updike’s fine verbal talent is no longer pirouetting, however gracefully, out of a simple delight in motion, but is beginning to serve his deepest insight.”
John Updike was the author of more than sixty books, including collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His novels have been honored with the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the National Book Award, and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hugging the Shore, an earlier collection of essays and reviews, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He died in January 2009.
“Electricity lights [John Updike’s] prose like a Christmas tree. . . . So full of fire and ice that it almost breaks through to some ‘fourth dimension’ in writing.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Updike is not merely talented; he is bold, resourceful and intensely serious. . . . We hear talk now and then of a breakthrough in fiction, the achievement of a new attitude and hence a new method; something like that seems close at hand in Pigeon Feathers.”—Saturday Review
“A sustained pleasure . . . a world seen and described and interpreted by a subtle, poetic, intellectual, wondering consciousness . . . These are wonderfully written pieces.”—Library Journal